Friday, 2 May 2014

School Days

The oldest known school is King's School, Canterbury, England, a medieval cathedral school thought to be founded in AD 597.  Throughout history, people of means have been sending their children to schools to be educated, or hiring the best tutors.  For others, if the children were lucky, they were "home schooled". 

School archives and yearbooks can be great places to find information about your ancestors. In Canada education is a Provincial matter and LAC tells us that most records were kept with the school, or sent to the local School Board. Except for Indian Schools which were under Federal jurisdiction, Department of Indian Affairs. UK National Archives gives us similar advice, saying to check with the local schools or archives, and the USA school records are also local. 

While roaming around the internet, looking for my ancestors in Compton, I happened upon an article about King's Hall School for Girls, founded in 1864 as Compton Ladies' College for the Anglican elite of the Diocese of Quebec (It later merged with Bishops College, the boys’ school). So I poked around some more and found an old yearbook for King's Hall. The earlier books don't have individual photos but at the back of all the books is a section on what past students are up to -  who got engaged,  married, had babies, travelling, etc. 

Doing a more in-depth search I found many schools and colleges have yearbooks or registers online, and more are added every year.  One school I found that has yearbooks online is West Hill High, the school my father (Thomas Seale) and his siblings attended. 

AS well as noted below, on my FaceBook page, under Files in the page menu, there is a Schools document with links to yearbooks and registers for schools and colleges in Canada, US and the UK.  For more school books and info, search at Internet Archive ( or Our Roots using the keywords  "school yearbooks", "college registers", "[school name] yearbooks", "school record" .

Do you know what schools your ancestors attended?

Relevant Links:

Internet Archive- schools include Ashbury College (Ottawa), Trinity College School (Port Hope), and Selwyn House School (Montreal)

Lost Schools of English Montreal (West Hill and Monklands) Use left MENU to Yearbooks:

University of Manchester UK - Register of graduates 1851-1958:

Collège de Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière 1827-1927: 

Collège de Lévis 1941-1942

Upper Canada College, 1829-1892

Memorials of Acadia College and Horton Academy (Nova Scotia), 1828-1878

King's Hall School for Girls, Compton and Bishops College

McGill University Yearbooks

Official Register of Officers and acting Midshipmen: United States Naval Academy

Annual Register of the United States Naval Academy

Florida Baptist Academy Catalogue 1913-1914

Annual Register of the Free Academy of the City of New York (several 1860-1920)

The Eton Register

Board of education, public school teachers, medical inspectors, truant officers pertaining to the public schools of Cumberland County, NJ 1913-1914

Dissenting Academies Online (search academies, tutors, students)

Catalogue of Graduates of the University of Dublin from 1595-1866

Mail Book of the Living Graduates of Hamilton College (NY) 1890 

Officers, students and graduates of the Kansas State Agricultural College

The Beamer:  Bradford Durfee Textile School yearbook (several years)

American Institute of Mining Engineers

Schools and Teachers of the Province of Ontario (many years 1912+)

College of Physicians and Surgeons 1880-1900 Baltimore

Memorials of the class of 1833 of Harvard College

Memorials of the graduates of Harvard university, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, commencing with the first class, MDCXLII

Memorials of old Haileybury College (India)

Kronau School #428 (Sask), 1896-1964

Schomberg and its school - Ontario (S.S. No. 14,King) 

Carstairs, Alberta

Antelope Park School District No. 3464 (Sask)

Wetaskiwin Alexandra High School

Liste des élèves de l'École Normale Jacques-Cartier 1905

College Greetings - Illinois Woman's College(several years)

Roll of the graduates of the University of Aberdeen, 1860-1900

The Tower – York Junior College year book, PA- 1945 (incl those serving in WWII)


  1. Speaking of oldest so to speak Read this today and as we will be there soon found it interesting

  2. Do you know if Oxford University has photos of students that attended in the 1660's?

    1. There is a register of alumni:
      "The Members of the University of Oxford, 1500-1714: Their Parentage, etc..."


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